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I'm a first class passenger get me out of here!

Visitors this October half term are invited on board to take part in their very own bushtucker trial, in a Victorian variation of TV’s ‘I’m a celebrity get me out of here!’

Visitors can sample some of the “disgusting” delicacies that would have been eaten on board by first-class passengers in the 1850s, 60s and 70s, and learn more about the similarities and differences between Victorian food and the things we eat today. 

The food-tasting sessions will take place in the First-Class Dining Saloon on Oct 27, 29 and 30 at 11:30am and 2:30pm, and are included in admission prices. 

Interpretation Manager, Judith Holland, commented: “The Victorians were great innovators in food and this event aims to introduce visitors to the sometimes weird and sometimes wonderful world of Victorian cuisine.”

She added: “The recipes for this event have been inspired by 19th century cook books such as ‘Beeton’s Book of Household Management’, as well as using menus and passenger diaries from the Trust’s collection which mention in great detail some of the food eaten on board.” 

‘Beeton’s Book of Household Management’, was first published 150 years ago, and is still used today. Her wealth of recipes included delights such as offal, over-boiled vegetables, and savoury puddings.

Visitors may take comfort in the fact that some of the era’s more stomach-turning dishes like Mrs Beeton’s recipe for boiled calf’s head served with brains on the side haven’t found their way onto the menu!

For those with an appetite to try some of the more delicious dishes, the Dockyard Café Bar will also be serving up its specials on those days with a Victorian twist.

Victorian foodie facts:

  • 1837 - Alfred Bird invented corn-flour based custard powder for his wife who was intolerant to eggs.
  • Tinned-food took off in middle-class households after first being used by the Navy at the beginning of the century.
  • Jelly babies were invented in 1860s by Lancashire Company, Fryers and were known as ‘unclaimed babies.’
  • New household gadgets were pioneered - the Rothschild’s family home in Buckinghamshire had an underground railway installed that delivered food from the kitchen block to main house.
  • Middle class houses benefited from the invention of cutlet choppers, fruit pressers and tin openers.
  • The Vegetarian Society was founded in 1847.